Month: February 2015

Ambush Drug Test at my Psych Appointment- Wait, What?

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Nectar Madness: My Bipolar Sapience

I’m still shaking off my first experience with Medication Monitoring. This took place a few days ago, and I was completely bombarded, with no explanation, no warning, no consideration for my personal space.

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My pdoc appointment went quite smoothly. I talked about my grandfather’s funeral, about the baby, about being a temporary stay at home mom. We went through the checklist about side effects, mood fluctuations, and if I have any thoughts of harming myself (I don’t). Pdoc agreed we should keep my medications the same as they’d been, and he wrote up the new scripts. I gathered my wallet and keys, and started for the office door. Just before I hit the front desk, he informs me that everyone is taking a urinalysis for medication monitoring. I was a little confused. He laughed and said it’s to make sure people are taking their meds, and not selling their Adderall. Well…

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Pictures of an Unfocused Brain

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Take a Ride on My Mood Swing

This is what my brain is like.


See, somewhere in that pit is a single black ball. And I am supposed to grab only that one ball out of that whole pit. So I spend all my time searching, looking, never accomplishing anything because it all shifts around me every time I start digging and I am back to square one.

Or another analogy I found because I thought of an old game show.


You’re broke, you need every dollar you can lay hands on, and there is your chance. All you gotta do is grab with both fists.
Except there’s a motor blowing the money up all around you in every direction and you can barely grab a single bill, let alone fill up your fists even if the money is right there.

That’s what focusing is like for me.

But on the plus side…A friend wanted my couch…

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adventures in the life of mental illness

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I’m tired. I think, most of all, I’m tired. I’m tired of reaching out to people. I’m tired of being rejected. I’m tired of the tens of messages I’ve sent that have received no reply in return. That rejection lays heavily on my chest, making it hard to breathe. We’re social creatures, and yet this thing, which seems to come so naturally to others, is so damn fucking difficult for me. I feel like such an outsider to the human race. I hate being alone and yet I can barely stand to be around others for fear and social anxiety. I can talk easily with so few people that it makes daily life so exhausting. How am I going to survive on my own? I can barely function in society. I can barely function period. I can’t use the phone, I can’t drive, I can’t go to grocery stores, I…

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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: The Power of the Mental Status Exam

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Psychiatry and Spanish

I spent these past two days getting my first real taste of psychiatric practice here in Leon. My first day was spent with Dr. Calderra, a hospitalist-psychiatrist, in his consultation office adjacent to HEODRA. Today, I was back at the CIDS office, working with Tamara, a psychologist, and Dr. Berrios, a GP turned psychiatrist. I am appreciative that I get to spend time in both of these settings, as this split experience is giving me an understanding of the schism in Nicaraguan psychiatric practice between biological and psychological approaches. In this post, I will focus more on Dr. Calderra’s more biologically-minded clinic, with a post on the psychological practice to follow.

After Dr. Calderra completes his rounds of his inpatient psychiatry patients at HEODRA, he crosses the street and enters his office in HEODRA’s outpatient building. There, he works with two psychologists who see the patients first and present the cases…

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